24 April 2007

…and innovation

GBC is part of CONII – Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation – which is a consortium of 10 Colleges who are collaborating on a research cluster (* * *). Research clusters are models of research networks that leverage institutional networks in support of research, innovation and diffusion of knowledge.

An article in today’s Globe and Mail has an interesting take on the cluster model of research. Under the headline of Innovation, this piece outlines how the Internet has enabled people to collaborate on fixing problems for industry. One site that is discussed is InnoCentive.com – “a website that posts research challenges by companies willing to pay outsiders for answers.” This is the same model that CONII uses to match industrial needs with College applied research.

CONII can make use of social networking tools to match industrial needs and partners with College applied research centres and faculty. Creating the Facebook for researchers is a challenge we will return to in the months ahead. CONII has already established a database of researchers to form a community of interest/practice. What is needed now is a more robust use of social networking technology (like RSS feeds, del.icio.us-style network effects) in order to leverage the potential of web n+1.

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